What if we do not resolve the complaint?

If the restorative approach does not generate a resolution at the pre-hearing conference (or mediation) the adjudicator will set a hearing date. The adjudicator may discuss with the parties whether another adjudicator should be assigned, depending on how deeply the merits of the case were discussed at the pre-hearing conference. 

Hearings will proceed like any similar proceedings, in the sense that participants will present documents, call witnesses, and make submissions to support their case. The distinguishing feature of human rights hearings is that adjudicators can use restorative, non-traditional and non-adversarial techniques. They will also consider the impacts they hear regarding the complaint in making decisions. 

Adjudicators may, for example, begin the hearing by giving everyone an equal chance to give their narrative, or in other words, to tell their side of the story. This may help to identify areas of agreed or undisputed facts, and to define the scope of areas where parties will be subject to questioning. 

Adjudicators can also be expected to take an active role in asking questions of witnesses and parties. This may include questions about the impact of events on the persons involved, regardless of whether those events establish the complaint as founded or unfounded.